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Discussion Starter #1
I'ts well past my bedtime but I felt the need to share my experiences with Windows XP beta 2, Windows Media player 8 and DVD playback.


I just installed WinXP beta2 on my HTPC, the latest NVIDIA and MAudio Drivers and the WinDVD demo (which I will be purchasing soon!). In a nutshell, DVD playback through Windows Media player 8 looks phenominal. Not only does it look substantially better than PowerDVD and marginally better than WinDVD, it also handles non-anamorphic DVD's correctly as far as I can tell. On my 8" Marquee CRT using horizonal squeeze and displaying on a 16x9 screen, the actual video image fills the screen with 16x9 non-ana DVD's not trimming the image as PowerDVD 3 does. With 2.35:1 non-ana DVD's, the image fills the screen with the correct size black bars on the top and bottom again not trimming the image.


My only issues are no Dolby Digital in WMP8 and some jerkyness in pans. I attribute the jerkyness to my DVD drive not having DMA enabled. I am unsure how to enable this in WinXP. If anyone knows how to fix either one of these issues, please post. You will make my Xmas list.


FWIW, Dolby Digital works fine with WinDVD under WinXP on my box.


Try it out if you have a chance. I think you will be pleased. If only I can work out the audio and playback issues...


Here's my setup for this test:

Electrohome Marquee 8110

P3-600

Asus P2B

Hercules Geforce 256

MAudio Audiophile 2496

WinXP

WinDVD 2.3 trial

Windows Media Player 8


Time for bed.


Doug
 

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Ive been using the same player now for a couple of weeks under Win2k. It does not do s/pdif passthrough. The video quality is awesome. If it did s/pdif passthrough I would definitely consider using it as my primary DVD player under Win2k.


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Discussion Starter #4
With the WinDVD trial (I am assuming this is the same as the retail only with time limitation) I get 5.1 DD under both Win2000 and WinXP Beta2. Sadly I do not have DTS capability in my Nakamichi IA1z. I followed the Cliff's notes section on Digital Connection for the AP2496 and switched the SPDIF option from Consumer to Professional wtih non-audio checked.


Does WinDVD display non-anamorphic DVD correctly streched for 16x9 screens like WMP8 does? If so, how did you accomplish this? This will be my player of choice until WMP8 can do spdif passthrough.


For the record, I also had a Radeon All in Wonder and IMHO the picture quality of WMP8 and GeForce256 was comparible to the ATI DVD player. I took the Radeon back because is was not very reliable for me. --Lock ups, etc.


Thanks,

Doug
 

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I'm running Windows XP Beta2, but it doesn't come with a software DVD player, so I can't quite undertstand what you guys are talking about. Media Player 8 will play DVDs but only if you have a player such as WinDVD already installed, in which case MP8 just acts as a front end.


Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JeffY:
I'm running Windows XP Beta2, but it doesn't come with a software DVD player, so I can't quite undertstand what you guys are talking about. Media Player 8 will play DVDs but only if you have a player such as WinDVD already installed, in which case MP8 just acts as a front end.
That's interesting, maybe it means you can get around the 5-minute trial in WinDVD by using its decoder via the Media Player interface. Course, that also casts suspicion on the notion that Media Player has better image quality...





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Jeff Kohn
http://home.houston.rr.com/jeffkohn
My DVD Profiler Collection
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry if I wasn't clear. Windows Media Player 8 would not play DVD's until I installed WinDVD trial. I am guessing it is using the WinDVD codecs, but to me it still appears a little better. I wonder if the scaling algorythm of Windows Media Player is different than the one used in WinDVD. This may also explain why Media Player can scale non-anamorphic DVD's correctly and WinDVD cannot (or can it?).

The 5 minute trial time out still pops up in Media Player 8. I did read, but cannot find the post that WinDVD can be had for as little as $10. If someone knows where, please post.


Thanks,

Doug
 

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Has anyone tried an hdcd with Windows Media Player 8? It is supposed to have hdcd decoding, but I am wondering how exactly this works.


Would it just send a 20 bit, 44.1 khz signal to my digital out? And, more importantly, would it sound just as good as the hdcd upgrade for my MSB Link Dac?


I would really appreciate if anyone could test any of this. Thanks.
 

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KD4, I somehow doubt you can get a better image quality using WM8 if you use the WinDVD decoder filter to decode the image! The quality should be exactly the same.


One of these days i'll incoporate DVD playback capabilities into Zoom Player, which will then allow you to use any aspect ratio.


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